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The musical influences of Floridian singer, songwriter and musician Barry Myers range from Dan Fogelberg to Pink Floyd but as his debut album 7th Avenue and the forthcoming Starseeds and Dreamcatchers highlight to great effect, Barry has crafted his own highly captivating sound.
7th Avenue, released in 2010, garnered attention around not just Florida but much further afield via iTunes and Amazon availability. And with good reason.
At the heart of 7th Avenue is an open and accessible soft-rock sound but there are also some clever arrangements, a little cool jazz and plenty of melody – and you might well recognise some of the outstanding guitar work…
Pat Travers, a true rock guitar legend, is not just a near-neighbour of Barry’s he’s a genuine fan of Barry’s music – to such an extent that he gladly gave of his time to put down some great lead and harmony guitar on the album.
Other performers on 7th Avenue include Sean Shannon (drums, percussion, production, mixing and mastering), Michael Stewart (keyboards and orchestration), Jamie Baker (bass) and Monica Travers (additional & backing vocals).
Barry continued to promote 7th Avenue throughout 2010 and 2011 but the following year a trip to Bar Harbor in Maine sowed the starseeds of what would become an outstanding, semi-conceptual melodic rock release…
While visiting the artsy little tourist town in 2012 Barry and Ivy Gilbert, his better half, spent some time in a New Age gift shop called Eden Rising where the owner mentioned they should read The Starseed Transmissions by Ken Carey; Ivy also bought herself a Dreamcatcher at a Native American store.
Ensuing discussions on Dreamcatchers, Starseed theory and the Mayan Calendar end-of-the-world prophecy became the inspiration for Starseeds and Dreamcatchers but the Bar Harbor trip turned out to be a creative double whammy – it also influenced a new series of fiction from Ivy.
The first in that series, The Keeper of Clarity, hit #1 on Amazon.com’s Best Sellers list during the summer months of 2014.
Starseeds and Dreamcatchers may have very specific influences and conceptual ideas threaded throughout its nine tracks but at its sonic heart is a hook-laden and atmospheric sound – the album can be as conceptually cosmic or as melodically down to earth as the listener wishes, or interprets, it to be.
The opening brace are a best of both worlds case in point.
The questioning lyrics of the title track are set within a melodic, mid-tempo framework that can be compared to the best star rock of the 70’s while the spacey ‘Dreamcatcher’ has an almost hypnotic ambience guided by a pulsating, rhythmic drum pattern from Sean Shannon who once again contributes on both sides of the studio glass.
Sean is not the only returnee – many who first met on 7th Avenue are reunited on Barry’s second album including Michael Stewart and Pat Travers, who has produced some outstanding lead lines that float across the perfectly arranged musical soundscapes.
A number of the songs on Starseeds and Dreamcatchers demand airplay on any and every rock and pop radio station you care to mention but none more so than ‘Angels and Elvis,’ an infectious slice of other-worldly melodic rock layered over a heavy acoustic foundation.
You’ll just need to hear the song once to have Elvis and his winged friends in your head all day.
If 7th Avenue was the announcement that Barry Myers had arrived as a musician and songwriter, Starseeds and Dreamcatchers is the exclamation point.
But that’s simply the first chapter of Barry’s musical career because, just like Ivy’s first book in the Clarity series, there’s clearly a lot more to come – and all the prophecies point to a Musical Calendar that isn’t predicted to end anytime soon.